Fly fishing has a long and storied history at Penn State. To reflect that strong interest, the Penn State University Libraries have established the George Harvey Fly-Fishing Literature Collection. This collection covers fly fishing, fly tying, aquatic entomology, fish species of importance to fly fishing, and related angling topics described by prominent fly fishing authors.
Penn State was the first university in the United States to offer courses in fly fishing, in the 1930's. Courses continue to the present, and the October 7, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated ranks the three course fly fishing series, KINES 004 (Principles of Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Trout); KINES 008 (Competition Casting); and ESACT 297A (Masters Fly Fishing - not always available), as the "Best Fishing Class" in the country. In 2002 Penn State Trustee Jessie Arnelle began a special initiative for Penn State students of color to introduce them to a potential lifelong activity. Pictures and a story about this class are available at this site.
Penn State is situated in a region that is surrounded by over 40 of the finest limestone trout streams in the Eastern United States. Because of the quality of the trout streams, there are many local groups interested in fly fishing. There is a Fly Fishing Club at University Park, a local chapter of Trout Unlimited, many local businesses to outfit anglers, such as Flyfisher's Paradise, and many other interested parties, such as the Clearwater Conservancy.
In 1947, George Harvey, an Associate Professor of Physical Education, developed and taught the first accredited university level angling and fly fishing course in the United States. George Harvey was the subject of several articles in the student newspaper the Daily Collegian. To learn how you can contribute to the George Harvey Fly-Fishing Literature Collection, contact the Libraries Development Office.
Fly Fishing Resources at the Penn State Libraries
The following are lists of books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and maps on fly fishing, fly tying, and angling available at Penn State.